The Rufous-backed Antvireo is found locally in the coastal mountains of southeast Brazil from Rio de Janeiro to Paraná. Male Rufous-backed Antvireos have gray on the upperback and forehead, with white spots around its eyes and side of its head, rufous upperparts, a white throat, pale gray underparts and a whitish belly. Females are similar to males in appearance except for a rufous crown, buff facial spotting and olive on the flanks and sides. Rufous-backed Antvireos are generally found in pairs in the mid-story and subcanopy of montane evergreen forest and old second growth. These birds forage through a series of short hops, interspersed with pauses to scan the surrounding vegetation, and quick upward sallies to glean prey from the undersides of overhanging leaves and vines.